• SDN Site Updates

    Hey everyone! The site will be down for approximately 2 hours on Thursday, August 5th for site updates.

tina4281

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2004
12
0
Status (Visible)
Hello all,

I really need advice on this one! I've been accepted to UCLA and UPENN and I can't decide where I should go. I am currently a UCLA student and I wouldn't mind a new change. But, should it even matter considering whichever school I attend, I'll just be studying all the time anyway?

UPENN is a beautiful campus and it has really nice facilities. People are very friendly there, but I'm not totally sure how the students are (happy, sad, etc.).

However, eventually, I would like to practice in California. So, is it better to just stay here. I'm a 5th year right now so you can imagine that I am getting sick of California but the nice weather these past few days make me think that I should keep the atmosphere. Why make my life harder? Dental school will keep me busy enough.

In terms of ranking and number of students specializing, it seems that they're similar. I don't know. I'm just eyeballing it.

Anyway, any advice?

Tina
 

scandalouslj

Upenn Class of 2007
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2003
293
1
IN
Status (Visible)
I can tell you a little bit about Penn, but I dont know anything about UCLA. I do know we have a lot of California people here, some that turned down UCLA, but Im not really sure why. I do know we do better overall with Specialty placement. I think the only schools that beat us this year or matched us were Harvard and Uconn. Overall we are happy at our school. You can check out our class website for some more info www.upenndentists.com . You will have a decent amount of time to go out so keep that in mind. And keep in mind that the winter is pretty cold in Philly, so I dont know if your gonna enjoy that if your used to nice warm Cali. But if you really have any specific questions let me know, because I dont know how much this reply helped.
 

gryffindor

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2002
2,937
221
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
I have never attended either UCLA or Penn so I don't know too much about the ins and outs of daily dental life at either place.

But here is something to consider from an east coast to west coast perspective. We have some classmates at my east coast school who are preparing to take the California Licensing Board Exam this summer. The only way they can take the exam so soon after graduation in May is that they have a hook up back in California who can provide patients for them (their family members are dentists). The California students who don't have a hook up are doing a GPR or AEGD (a 1 year general dentistry residency) in the upcoming year to find patients while they are in the state and then they can take the exam since they're already back in California.

You need to have live patients to take the California exam (or any other licensing exam for that matter). If you have a relative who is dentist and would find live patients for you in California, then it doesn't matter if you are at UCLA or Penn. However, if you don't and you opt to go to Penn and want to take the California exam right after graudation, then you are 3000 miles away from the testing site. Your patients are all in Philadelphia, the exam is being given in California. You can fly your patients out there, it's not unheard of and has been done. But that is a huge expense and stress. If you are at UCLA, you have your patients there already and are in the area if you need to find more.

To practice in California, you must pass the California licensing exam regardless of where you go to dental school or where you choose to specialize. California ranks right up there with Florida in terms of most notorious licensing exams to pass. The logistics of taking the exam would be easier from LA than from Philly.

How can you be sick of LA? Isn't there like sunshine 24/7/365? Try a winter out here on the east coast and you will be kicking yourself for leaving the sunshine to put up with the snow, slush, rain, constant gray skies, wind, etc. I can't remember the last time I saw the sun since the summer, and although it was warm enough to walk around in a fleece yesterday, I woke up this morning to find a 2 inch layer of snow on my car that I had to clean off before I could drive. LA sounds real good to me right now...
 
About the Ads

ecdoesit

DDS/MS
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2003
1,472
1
San Diego
Status (Visible)
It is another tough decision.
Well, I guess I am completely spoiled since I have been in San Diego for 9 years. I mean SF weather is cold for me.
So, most likely I will be in UCLA.

Seriously, like today, it is 90 degree in March!! and sunshine almost everyday. Yes, we have THREE storms this year, but no snow or other rainny days.

Specialty: UCLA's board score is always up there. Last year they are top 2. If you want, you could specialize. Both sch's reputation are very good.

The cons about UCLA is probably rent and the existing patient shortage. You could probably give me more info on rent. Where is a good and affordable place to stay? I am searching for apartments. As for patients, there are various outreach programs to increase patients supply and our reach to the community.

Tuition is another consideration. It seems total cost is similar since living cost is so huge in CA.

Ya, I heard that if you want to practice in CA after graduation, you are better off to stay in CA for dental school.

If you have other questions, feel free to PM me.
or email [email protected]
 

juan7677

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2002
262
0
Los Angeles
Status (Visible)
since your planning to practice in california, it might be better just to stay here since they'll prepare you better for the california boards. The cali boards are tough and the pass rate has gone down alot compared to previous years. I dont know what the overall pass rates are but for one part of the clinical exam the pass rates for recent boardswere as follows:

Simulated Fixed Prosthetics portion passing rate
ucsf - 36%
uop - 35%
usc - low 30s
ucla - 20%
llu - 8%
 

ecdoesit

DDS/MS
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2003
1,472
1
San Diego
Status (Visible)
i heard that the CA board got restructured to something totally ridiculously hard to pass.

one year, northern CA will do very good
the other yr, So Cal school become really good.
But the stat is interesting.
 

ecdoesit

DDS/MS
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2003
1,472
1
San Diego
Status (Visible)
let me add that llu is the most productive sch in CA. ucsf 2nd.
i dont see why the passing rate is so low.
 

AbuABuAbu

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 20, 2003
47
0
Status (Visible)
Originally posted by juan7677
since your planning to practice in california, it might be better just to stay here since they'll prepare you better for the california boards. The cali boards are tough and the pass rate has gone down alot compared to previous years. I dont know what the overall pass rates are but for one part of the clinical exam the pass rates for recent boardswere as follows:

Simulated Fixed Prosthetics portion passing rate
ucsf - 36%
uop - 35%
usc - low 30s
ucla - 20%
llu - 8%

is this the percentage that fails or passes? Your telling me that 8% of the students from llu pass the boards?
 

gryffindor

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2002
2,937
221
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
People, don't freak out over a bunch of percentages that look low. Board exams for licensing are EXTREMELY SUBJECTIVE. Subjective grading is probably something many pre-dents are unfamiliar with and so it looks scary to see those percents. Basically, whether you pass or not is up to the decision of the person looking at your work that day, and if they're in a bad mood or you forget to write you name on some paper (yes, something as stupid as that), they can fail you.

First off, juan7677, what is the source of your numbers?

Second, the percents juan gave us are for the simulated fixed prosthetics exam. I forget what California makes you do for that section of the exam (not taking the exam so didn't look into it carefully), but let me give you an example from the NERBs (the exam you take on the east coast) of how those percents could be incredibly misleading. For our simulated fixed prosthetics exam, we cut 2 plastic teeth in a typodont (a portable arrangement of upper & lower teeth) and make a temporary bridge of acrylic (a type of plastic) onto those teeth in early May when we take the exam. Then the typodonts get boxed up and shipped to Washington DC where they are graded in July. If your bridge breaks during shipping - FAIL. The plastic can shrink between May & July - FAIL. If it breaks when the examiner touches it - FAIL. You are supposed to make your bridge with these little fibers incorporated into it for exam purposed (so they know you didn't make it ahead of time). Forget to put the fibers - FAIL. You can even have a perfect bridge but b/c they grade them so fast, they could glance at something and think it's a failure even though it isn't.

There is no appealing. If you get a fail, you retake that section. But my point is, the grading on these licensing exams is really out of your hands regardless of how fantastic a dentist you are. If your school prepares you well clinically, then don't worry about failing these board exams because you will pass them. If you fail, it's not because you didn't know how to do the dentistry, most likely it's because of some semantics or disagreement/rash judgement on the instructor's part.
 

tina4281

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2004
12
0
Status (Visible)
thanks you guys!

everyone has been a lot of help. I think I'm going to UCLA. I don't even have to move!
 

juan7677

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2002
262
0
Los Angeles
Status (Visible)
Originally posted by AbuABuAbu
is this the percentage that fails or passes? Your telling me that 8% of the students from llu pass the boards?

No. There are other parts in the clinical part of the california boards than the fixed portion, such as perio. So you don't necessarily have to pass the fixed portion to pass the boards.
 

juan7677

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2002
262
0
Los Angeles
Status (Visible)
Originally posted by griffin04
....First off, juan7677, what is the source of your numbers?

I got these numbers from the head of our fixed department. He recently returned from a meeting with the california board exam committee. One of the topics was concerning the incredibly low pass rate in fixed portion of the exam. The 5 california schools tried to give some input in trying to calibrate the grading. We were told that one of the reasons why loma linda had such a low pass rate was because they go by a very conservative criteria in their preps compared to other schools. So what was acceptable by the school might have not been acceptable in the subjective eyes of the graders.
 

gryffindor

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2002
2,937
221
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
Thanks juan. It's so incredibly subjective, it's terrible. Even our faculty at Buffalo were discussing how clinically reputable Loma Linda is (they were considering hiring a Loma Linda faculty member here), so I can't imagine that they would not be teaching them good dentistry there.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 17 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.